Red Bull Racing adviser Helmut Marko says the ban on engine mode changes during qualifying and race is causing reliability problems at Mercedes. In conversation with Auto, Motor und Sport, the Austrian says that he is convinced that this must be the cause.
The usually so reliable Mercedes power unit seems to be less strong this year. Since the adjustment in the engine regulations, from the Italian Grand Prix in 2020, the problems have arisen at the German car brand, according to Red Bull’s advisor. The change means that an engine must be in a certain position from qualifying and that engine position must also be used in the race. Unscrewing the power source a little further during the race to make a hole with your car behind is therefore no longer possible. The electric motor is separate from this, which drivers still use to obtain extra horsepower.
The problems are now coming up
An exasperated Marko says: “Mercedes has always had it easy in the past. The first few laps they could pull away quickly, and then let the engines cruise.” That way Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could last longer with their engines. The Austrian born continues: “This is no longer possible, now they have to drive more often and longer in a higher engine position. And then the problems suddenly come to the fore.” closes Marko.
New engine for Hamilton
At the moment, Valterri Bottas has been working on his fifth power unit. Teammate Lewis Hamilton is currently using his third engine. It is expected that he will also have to add a new power source. It is possible that the Mercedes team chooses to do this in Turkey. That will lead to grid penalties, as was the case for Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in Russia.